By Richard J.R. Miles Copyright 8th March 2011
Why God? The worst kind of placebo drug, a killer.
The human population today almost seven billion is now clearly expanding out of control, having doubled over the last fifty years or so. Different from other creatures with our evolved conscious awareness, intelligence, skill and physical dexterity, we have long since bypassed evolution by natural selection, which like other creatures was our original foundation. In that environment the human species with their growing brains had developed awareness more than other creatures, and were beginning to become conscious of themselves and their surroundings. Like children today we are born with conscious ability but it takes time for us to develop realisation and to become aware of our self consciousness, which is why we probably do not remember much before the age of two or three years. This realisation for early humans would have been terrifying as was the physical life they were faced with. Like other creatures, life was a struggle for survival, involving the three F’s; Feeding, fighting and reproducing. This with the additional fear of realising that almost everything was an unknown mystery. This was still the time when eating other humans was the norm, kill and eat, or be killed and eaten. Running and hiding was the other option.
There would have been an inherited pattern of life forged over time by those who had been before, after all the fact they could walk upright, move their limbs to do things they could do, was all as a result of those who had evolved before their conception. Some would have started to slowly realise that, whilst trying to understand everything else, just as some people do today. Also the same as today, some people would have coped better with their selves, life and others, just as adults usually cope better than children do with problems.
Today we take for granted what we know scientifically but this has all been due to our ancestors passing on their wisdom, so that we can learn and continue to add to what they themselves had learnt.
A slow but positive progression of knowledge, to make life easier physically and mentally. This now allows some humans to arrogantly say we do not believe in God. We now know that earthquakes, flooding, volcanoes, thunder and lightning etc are not because God is angry, or that the earth is not the centre of the universe, but back in the past they did not, just as today children do not know, along with a lot of still primitive people and some who could not care less. Ancient humans had brains that had started to ask questions that needed answers, but very few factual knowledgeable answers were forthcoming. In those primitive days, coping with the real fear of life, any form of help including make believe would have been desperately needed, to ease the torment of the growing realisation of their situation, physically and mentally. Very hard on the very wild earth, anything that would give them help, respite and solace would have been very welcomed.
Unsurprisingly, the sun was probably the first point of worship, as evidence for life from it would have been obvious. Apart from it’s warming from the cold night and providing light to see to find sustenance, flowers would open up to it and close when it went away, life would seem to thrive given the right balance of the sun and conditions. The early form of humans would easily have been able to realise the power of the sun along with lots of other creatures. Not knowing what it was, but seeing and feeling its importance when it was there, it would have been of great value to them, without understanding why. They could see and feel it helped or gave life, and without it life would be dull or dark, the time for rest and keeping warm till it became light again. Some people are still in awe of the sun and some still falsely worship it today.
The moon and the elements of weather would also play a part in value, especially water of course. The Hindu’s have lots of Gods. Eventually one God would be envisaged to control everything and help people cope with all fears, mysteries, needs and loses. One all powerful, all knowing God to worship instead of so many, which would be simpler and easier rather than having to select the right God. As a result, anything without explanation would be attributed to God who moved everything everywhere in very mysterious ways. Who were humans? The mere ignorant mortals to question such an unknown mysterious might, that had been there long before them, and obviously in their ignorance God must have created them and everything else, presumably that also included God as well? Even though they could not understand things, God would know all. So it is easy to see how such make believe came into existence.
Habitually added to and passed on as more was revealed to help them cope with frightening fears of their life and death. Revelations were usually from a strong minded man, with his own agenda aided by others.
Throughout time some of these people have been referred to as born leaders, ‘con’ men, Prophets or a mixture, and it is sometimes impossible to tell the difference as all can cajole, coerce and control, it just depends on their circumstances. King Henry the VIII wanting a divorce from his Catholic wife, set up his own branch of Christianity in order to do just that, called the reformed Church of England. He could then remarry and divorce as he liked. Hitler thought God was on his side when he tried to rule the world and eradicate the Jews. Mohammed, founder of Islam, claimed to be the last Prophet. There have since been other claims like Joseph Smith founder of the Mormon church. If you do not like the existing depictions of God, but still feel the need for a God, might I suggest a completely peaceful one for you. A nice God who likes everyone regardless of their beliefs or non beliefs, you can select all the good bits you like with angels and fairies as well, a true religion of peace for all. Your Good God.
However, other people would and have envisaged their own God to suit their environmental circumstances, and of course theirs would be the one and only God, which is why there are so many conflicts.
It is obvious why some humans still need their God today, understandably due to the inherited heritage of their God having helped ease the fears of those in the past and also the present. Reassurance, helping them to cope and soften the trauma of illness, failure and loss, like a child needs a comfort blanket, some adults still need their God.
There still remains much evidence from the past of buildings, some in ruins, scriptures and rituals enhanced, modified, interchanged and handed down over time for different groups of people to still use today. All this to help get them through their life in all respects, a guide, a sense of purpose, a way to live their life and face death, just as their ancestors had done before them, a proven way. Except when they clash with another belief systems, made worse by each claiming past religious evidence as belonging to their God with mythical events and figures offered as proof, with different stories or variations to support their belief. Contradiction seems endless. A few examples according to different Gods, you must surgically alter your children’s genitals. You cannot allow yourself of your children to have a blood transfusion, which was probably meant originally to prevent drinking the blood of the dead. The world is less than ten thousand years old. The Sabbath day is on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday. How, why, where, when or whether Jesus ever lived at all, let alone how he was conceived or whether he was born in a barn or under a tree, depends on what you want to think. This obviously makes Christmas day at the height of pagan mid winter festivities highly questionable. People will believe whatever they want to believe, heavily influenced by their environment and heritage.
There is nothing nicer for some people than to be in an adapted or purpose built place, created to help them cope with life, a lovely embracing, comforting, tingly emotional sensation. Sometimes an overwhelming feeling that had also been experienced by their ancestors long before them, that were all still hopefully, but usually thought to still be up there looking down on or after them. What better thought to soften the reality of their loss, and with the hope that through their God they too would eventually rejoin them in a nice imaginary place called heaven, with the angels for all eternity. In one of these purpose built places of God worship was the funeral for a lady, who had died of a medical problem, leaving her husband with three young children to look after by himself. The supposedly comforting words of Mr. Pompous Pious in charge of proceedings went:- “Today should be a happy day” as his God had chosen to take away this poor man’s wife and mother of three. Somebody horrifyingly and loudly said “What!” which was not me although I did think selfish God or what, but anyway at the end Mr Pious smiled looking very pleased with himself, turned and walked towards the exit feeling all was well in his world with his God. I hope they are not all like that, although you can never be sure, as I have heard some say one thing and think or mean another. The general figure of people who like working today apparently, is roughly ten per cent in the UK. There is no reason to assume this figure to be any different for religious paid workers.
Today there are still so many fallacies as human evolution is not uniform throughout the world. As Charles Darwin and others have found, you can assist human evolution with education but it is slow and often peoples natural tendency is to revert back to their original environmental anachronistic ways, or roots they have inherited, due to their preferred ignorance, some find reassurance.
My Mother in her eighties, who was religious, decided when her daughter died that she did not want to travel from London down to Eastbourne for her burial, not because of the travelling but because she preferred instead to think she was still down there, which in a way she was. Although she knew my sister was no longer alive, a bit of make believe was her way of coming to terms with the very harsh reality. There is no easy way of coping with loss, it takes time to alter the paths of thought of someone being there, to the fact that they are no longer. This can seem impossible, time is sometimes the only healer to help accommodate the loss within. Others maybe relieved by death for various reasons. The variety of God styled funeral services help some people come to terms with loss, some calling it partial closure. Whatever peaceful way of coping is ok by me. I do not have a problem with an adult who chooses to follow a peaceful belief or addiction, to help them through their life as long as it does not prejudice other people in any way. This sadly is not always the case and that is where I think that God’s religious threat to anyone should become illegal throughout the world, banning the God and religion if it cannot remove its cruel hostilities, both mental and physical to non believers. In the civilised world it is no longer acceptable or permissible to prejudice invalids, racism, sexism, slavery, ageism etc and neither should prejudice exist under the disgusting disguise of God. It is ironic why God who was originally conceived to ease fright and reassure, has become the cause of discriminatory prejudice, hatred, fear and death.
Wake up civilised United Nations. It is time to legislate, if it is not as it seems, too late to stop the nuclear missile being launched in the name of God.